Meet Tim, by Gardel

Tim was a fluffy

But not any regular fluffy

Tim was a legit Hasbio-branded first generation fluffy.

Came with a certificate of authenticity and a laser-etched serial number under the fluff of its flank.

Mr.Chandler bought it for his daughter right at the official Hasbio store a week after the official launch.

A cyan earthie colt with a dark purple mane and magenta eyes.

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Art by @KerosineCannibal

It was $13,000 plus tax.

You might think Chandler here is a rich man.

And you would be wrong.

He is at best upper-middle class.

However hardly anyone who knew his life story would think Chandler was a privileged man.

Born in a poor formerly blue-collar town in the rust belt he had to fight for pretty much anything he owned.

The trauma of a childhood devoid of toys and even some bare necessities left a big mark in his mind and he compensates for that by giving his only daughter anything she wants.

And that includes the newest and some say biggest toy in history: the fluffy pony.

Needless to say his daughter, little Stacy, was the envy of every other girl in her entire school and the whole gated community.

Tim really put the Chandlers in the map, they went from being just another family living in a prefab mcmansion with two mortgages to having everyone in the community paying them a visit just to see the fancy fluffy pony live, and perhaps even touch it.

After all the only Hasbio store was 60 miles away and had been sold out for a month.

Tim had a nice life.

Sure it didn’t have all of the Official Fluffy Toys currently available in the Hasbio Catalog since the Chandlers had maxed out their credit cards just buying it in the first place but still its life was far better than the one the average domestic fluffy would have in the future, let alone compared to feral and stray fluffies which were unthinkable at this time.

However Tim did feel a bit lonely being the only fluffy in town.

Its insanely high price meant it wasn’t allowed outside the house since Mr.Chandler had read in the 400-page long Official Fluffy Pony User Manual (part of the starter pack given by Hasbio with every fluffy sold) that fluffy hoofs weren’t designed to walk on asphalt, concrete, rocks or dirt and such use of the fluffy was against the EULA and could void the warranty.

For Mr.Chandler and many other early owners a fluffy was not just a pet but an investment worth protecting.

Some people thought fluffies were costly to make and speculated that prices would rise.

Thus more of a reason to keep the fragile biotoys safe.

So Tim could only walk inside the house, spending most of its time inside the designated “safe-room” all owners must have without their knowledge to compensate for Hasbio’s many mistakes when making these biotoys.

But Tim’s loneliness wouldn’t last.

Neither would its fame nor the Chandlers’ position in the community as the sole owners of the coveted fluffy pony.

Enter Mrs. Stein, the Chandlers’ nextdoor neighbor

That wasn’t her original name mind you, but Mr.Stein’s, aka Stu.

She used to have an unpronounceable south Asian name which she got rid of after marrying the loveshy Stu Stein for a greencard at first.

And then for the money which became plainly obvious when he divorced Stu and took everything he had.

Mr.Chandler liked Stu, he was a good man. He felt bad when Stu was reduced to live in his car.

Mr.Chandler didn’t know but a couple days before he bought Tim his old pal Stu Stein had died when run over by a truck near a construction site.

Mrs. Stein knew, and she couldn’t care less.

Because she wasn’t going to let his former meal ticket’s friends the Chandlers be the most popular family of the suburbs she got her own fluffy pony.

And not any fluffy pony: a high-end monochrome white pegasus filly, MSRP $17,000 plus tax.

The name of the fluffy was as pretentious as its owner: Princess.

Fortunately the filly didn’t share the same attitudes of its owner and was friendly towards all.

Mrs. Stein let Tim hang out with Princess not for the sake of its filly but because she wanted a photo-op of the two fluffies playing together to post on her Instagram account.

She even pretended in her posts that Tim was also her fluffy so people would think she was some kind of millionaire to be able to afford two fluffies.

Tim was nonetheless very happy to finally be able to play with another fluffy, and so was Princess.

Tim didn’t want babbehs. Not that it could have any given it had its “wumps” removed shortly after birth.

Neither could Princess which was completely sterile.

But Tim didn’t want any foals for the same reason Princess didn’t want any foals: both had received additional programming by Hasbio to simply avoid the subject entirely.

It was part of Hasbio’s system to protect their monopoly on these biotoys.

The fluffies living inside Hasbio’s factories were on the other hand fully fertile and programmed to always want to breed.

This combined with insane breeding rates to lower costs and increase yields would eventually turn fluffies into a plague.

For it was those fluffies that got out in the woods of Georgia, carrying with them not only the ability to breed which all commercially sold fluffies lacked but an implanted imperative to do so that Hasbio didn’t predict they could pass on to every subsequent generation.

This happened 4 months before Tim’s first birthday.

There were bigger news at the time, and quite frankly everybody thought Hasbio would get the fluffies back and everything would go back to normal.

It didn’t, and eventually wild fluffies became the “new normal”.

Only a month later Stacy saw a girl in her private school flaunting two unicorn foals, one a red colt with a purple mane and the other a yellow filly with a green mane.

They were smaller than Tim was when her father brought him from the store.

That’s because Hasbio wouldn’t sell foals that were that little.

And indeed Hasbio didn’t sold them to her.

The girl’s father bought them on Craigslist from an illegal fluffy breeder in Georgia.

At $5,000 for both it was a steal.

But the biggest difference is that both were fertile and would be able to breed when they reached adulthood in only 3-4 months.

In short Tim was no longer an investment.

Mr. Chandler made an even biggest mistake when he refused to sell Tim for roughly 1/3 what he had paid for it.

The more he waited the more the price went down, until it was simply pointless to do so.

The Chandler family was still paying the installments for Tim’s +$13k price even as far more valuable fluffy foals were going for as little as $100.

Then the first industrial fluffy mills went up, foals were now being sold for less than petshop puppies or kitties.

Then less than rabbits and guinea pigs.

Then less than hamsters…

By this time everyone in town already owned a fluffy or two.

Some even had fluffy families since their fluffies could breed, unlike Tim and Princess.

Shortly after that came the first strays.

Then the first feral fluffies.

Tim, still not allowed to leave the house, would sometimes see the herds walking down the street.

Nobody cared at first, some people were even curious and wondered how these artificial biotoys would still behave like real animals would.

As these herds destroyed and soiled the expensive landscaping of the mcmansions the homeowners lost any empathy towards these things they were now calling “shitrats”.

Tim saw how old man Ross who used to pet him as a colt took a shovel and decapitated an orange mare with 7 hungry peeping foals in its back without any remorse.

The famished mare had dared to eat some of the award winning fancy plants he had in his front yard.

Still to Tim this was insane, a level of cruelty its tiny brain engineered to live inside an imaginary cartoon world couldn’t comprehend.

A couple years ago this situation would’ve been unthinkable, after all Ross was taking a rusty shovel to roughly $100,000 in fluffies.

But right now that shovel was worth more than the mare and foals did alive, let alone headless and beaten to a pulp.

Despite fluffies becoming not only cheap but “shit pets” with no rights the Chandlers still kept Tim around.

Princess next door wasn’t so lucky.

Mrs. Stein who only cared for it to increase her own status had no use for the pegasus mare anymore.

Tim hadn’t seen Princess in a while.

The last time he did it was through a window.

It saw an angry Mrs. Stein carrying a stained cardboard box towards her Bentley SUV.

Mrs. Stein wasn’t good with money, she simply flushed the late mr. Stein life savings down the drain.

She wasn’t wise enough to sell the fluffy when she could still get some money for it.

As the debts from her lavish lifestyle began to mount and the value of her prized fluffy spiraled down to nothing she took her anger out on the biotoy.

And so when she opened the hatch to her car and shoved her hand in the box Tim could see it.

It was Princess, dangling from a broken coat hanger shoved into her skin.

It had patches of fluff missing, the rest stained with blood.

Some of its skin showing, red gashes the product of a very rough careless shaving.

Burn spots from cigarettes and hot knives.

All of its teeth were gone, knocked out by Mrs. Stein many drunken binges after talking with her accountant.

Two of Princess ‘weggies’ were missing, torn out and stumps hastily stitched or glued together.

Both of its wings were gone.

Tim remembered how proud Princess was of its wings.

How it thought it would one day fly for its human mummah.

But Princess’ mummah didn’t care about that.

Neither she cared about the big teal eyes of the mare when she burned them with a hot metal spoon.

Tim put its pawn on the window as Mrs. Stein threw Princess in the trunk of her SUV hard enough to kill it, but unfortunately for the fluffy it was still alive.

That was the last time anyone saw Princess or its owner ever again.

The bank seized Mrs. Stein house the next day. Some say she sold her SUV and fled back to her country.

But Tim had nothing to fear, the Chandlers decided that as worthless as it had become they would still care for it, unlike the former owners of the many stray filthy fluffies that Tim saw rummaging through the trash at night, many of them with the unwanted chirpie foals that got them kicked out into the streets for daring to do what they were programmed to do.

Things changed a bit though.

Tim no longer had a safe room, the Chandlers instead deciding to rent it to a college student living off campus.

They needed the money to make ends meet.

And so Tim now lived in the laundry closet which was fine except for when the washing machine was running.

It also lost most of the expensive Hasbio-branded fluffy toys.

While Tim had a negative value the official Hasbio toys the Chandlers bought had now become sort of rare collector items since Hasbio itself no longer existed.

Also gone was the premium kibble, the canned FluffSketti, the special fluffy gummy treats.

Tim’s food now consisted mostly of whatever leftovers the Chandlers put in its bowl and some bargain economy kibble that was mostly made with feral fluffies bought from overflowing shelters.

The stallion would sometimes choke on the fluff fibers in that kibble.

So abundant it was that some of the brown pieces had technicolor streaks from the fluff of the countless fluffies and foals grinded alive to make it.

Overall Tim now lived a far more impoverished life than it did as a foal.

But still he was grateful for at least he wasn’t starving like stray fluffies did.

Or being killed in the fields and forests like feral fluffies were.

Let alone suffering at the hands of an abuser…like Princess.

Eventually Tim reached the end of its genetically-engineered planned obsolescence.

Its fluff suddenly started to gray, it could barely chew its food anymore.

There was nothing to do.

Tim was simply dying as Hasbio had intended.

Dying so its owners had to get a new fluffy.

And so he did, Tim was found lifeless in the ratty cat bed that had become its ‘nestie’ after his official Hasbio Nestie Housie was sold “forevers” ago.

His final resting place was inside an old orange Nike shoe box buried in the back yard.

The Chandlers never owned a fluffy again.

They decided to get a more prestigious pet like a breed dog instead.

After all fluffies were now considered a cheap pet for people who couldn’t afford anything better.

Or an inexpensive meat replacement for those who thought canned Spam was too rich for their blood.

The only exception were the still expensive and rare alicorns but the Chandlers weren’t going to fall for that again.

It took them yet another year to finally pay the debt for buying Tim…

57 Likes

love it. the look at “early adopters” getting screwed by buying what was supposed to be a top of the line, exclusive bio-engineered pet due to Hasbio’s incompetence feels all too close to real life.

the tone lends to a creeping sentiment of days much worse to come. A+

22 Likes

All things considered, Tim living untill old age means he lived a much better life than a ton of fluffies o.o’ putting asside the lowering in living conditions due to the owners debts, it’s still better than youd expect in a sadbox story

13 Likes

I consider it sadbox because Tim, much like Snowflake was a model fluffy, no defects whatsoever, it was as good as it was designed to be and yet he suffered some neglect for reasons outside his control. Some owners might have kept their original hasbio fluffies as loved pets but the Chandlers couldn’t shake the feeling they got duped hard and spent a decade paying for a pet that had become completely worthless, even though said pet still loved them no matter what

14 Likes

That is true, it is still a sadbox story, but i feel the chandlers could have easily abandoned or euthanized their “investiment” anytime, but the fact they didnt (and went the trouble to bury him afterwards) do give an ambiguous sense that they cared for him in the back of their heads, even if they never admit it.
At least thats how i interpreted ^^’

9 Likes

“Keeping Up With Appearances” is an old British comedy about a middle class couple where the wife (Hyacinth) tries to act higher class and the husband puts up with it. Her family (sisters, father, brother in law) are all low class so she’s embarrassed by then and her roots.

She would’ve had at least one original fluffy. Just to keep up appearances :stuck_out_tongue:

5 Likes

This is good Bleakbox. Tim didn’t have a bad life, but it was also not a good one. The abuser neighbour did kill the fluffy, but also lost all her fortune. Ferals got adopted, but many more stil ended up dead as food or because they were obnoxious.

Nobody wins. Everybody loses. Fluffies die in droves simply because there’s too many. Not because abusers scour the land or they drown in puddles. Very well done.

10 Likes

Its the sunken cost fallacy, same reason the family didn’t sell Tim for less when it was still worth something.

4 Likes

Ah, yes. It’s pronounced Bouquet not Bucket. Poor, put upon Richard , her nutter daddy and my favorite, Daisy, who was less of a slut than my sister.

2 Likes

Loved the story but how the hell does an upper middle class takes a decade to pay a 10000$ debt?

You make a good point but I feel you’ve left that unexplored on the story itself

Minimum payments, interest, spending more on top of what was already owed, missing a month or two, etc. There are even millionaires who can effectively live check to check by increasing their expenses to match their income.

5 Likes

Such a sad life to early hasbio until the raid and freeing them.

Man that gold digger mrs stein is such a bitch :grimacing: poor princess. :cold_sweat:

At least Tim died at the ripe old age design by hasbio

1 Like

My guess for taking a decade to pay a $10K debt… Like a credit card debt, they probably paid the absolutely minimum and nothing else overall. So they got lazy on making even those payments, fell behind then started to get back on track by paying just enough to get back on track so the calls and notices stop coming in.

3 Likes

I like how you portrayed the Tim’s declining standard of living, premium food and toys along with a nice saferoom. Then when times get hard he’s in the washroom next to the washer and fed whatever scraps are leftover. Nice detail with the “economical kibble”; Still Tim definitely had it better than poor little Princess.

3 Likes

They were already up to their necks in debt, they were living above their means even before they bought Tim.

4 Likes

In my HC there is no raid, just a defective fire alarm that freed all the fluffies at breeding installation 04 which was in the middle of a forest so fertile fluffies were able to escape and some be taken by people who then breed them outside hasbio’s control

Most industrial accidents are like that

4 Likes

Yaiks! Thats an interesting take,an accident causes the hasbio billions of dollars :flushed:

2 Likes

Tim lived the life of an original Iphone O.O He Sooooooooooooo ROUND doh. :open_mouth:

The entire world really, I try to keep things realistic as much as I can so in my HC hasbio like any corporation wanted fluffy production to be as cheap as possible to offset the huge costs of developing these pets so they made fluffies able to reproduce exponentially like no other natural mammal its size can, and of course they didnt see a problem with that since they planned to have a monopoly on fluffy production, but then the fertile ones got out and now there’s a global ecological crisis since nobody knows how to deal with a GMO plague of this level.

2 Likes